Written by Krishna Bora, B.Sc. (Microbiology) | 
Medically Reviewed by dr. simi paknikar, MD on Apr 15, 2013


Sports injuries may be minor and be cured with simple medications or may sometimes be fatal, ruining the life of sportsmen. Preventive measures are available to stop these injuries from occurring. Let us have a look at the types of injuries that occur during sports.

Shin Splints: Shin splints are very common injuries for sportsmen who are engaged in sports like football, hockey and racing. They are common in those players who need to run and suddenly stop as in football, basketball, tennis etc. This type of injury is characterized by pain in the lower leg and ankles. It is a result of inflammation in the tendons and tissues in the inner part of the tibia, which is the weight-bearing bone in the lower leg. Shin splints are not hazardous injuries and can be treated by applying warmth to the area and by taking rest.

Injuries Related to Sports

Sprain: Sprain is an injury where the ligament is stretched or torn. Falling, twisting or getting hit on hard surfaces result in sprains. Ankle and wrist sprains are very common in sports. The common symptoms of a sprain include pain, swelling, bruising and inability to move the injured joint. Painkillers and physical therapy are used to treat sprains.

Achilles Tendonitis: The Achilles tendon is the fibrous tissue that connects the heel to the calf muscles. The Achilles tendons are thickest and strongest tendons in the body. Contracting calf muscles pull the Achilles tendon, which pushes the foot downwards. This contraction enables the body to stand on the toes, walk and run. Inflammation or strain of the tendon is usually caused due to overuse of the legs such as frequent jumping in basketball, soccer, volleyball or an increase in certain types of activities like hill sprinting or track running. It particularly occurs while running in spikes.

Fracture: Fractures are very common sports injuries. In case the fracture breaks open through the muscles and skin, it is called as compound or open fracture. Overuse due to sports can cause small cracks in the bones. Symptoms of a fracture are a displaced limb or joint, swelling, bruising and bleeding, intense pain, numbness and tingling to name a few. Medical care is needed right away. In severe cases, surgeons surgically introduce plates, pins and screws to keep the bones in place.

Dislocations: Dislocations are injuries in which the bones are pushed out of their position. This is often caused by a fall or a blow during sports. Dislocations commonly affect the ankles, knees, shoulders, hips and elbows. A dislocated joint needs immediate medical attention. Treatment depends on the severity of the case. Dislocation can happen more than once in a lifetime. The best protection against dislocation is to wear protective gear during physical activities.

Joint Injury: Joint injuries are likely to occur in the knees and elbows. They happen due to hitting on hard surfaces during physical exercises and can involve damage to the surrounding bones and ligaments. The primary symptom of joint injury is pain. Severity of the case depends on the location of the injury. Wearing protective gears before physical activity prevents joint injury.

Facial Injury: Shooting, wrestling and boxing can cause facial injuries. This includes soft-tissue injuries such as to the lips and eyelids and fracture of the “T-zone” bones. Cheekbone fracture is one of the most common types of facial injury that occurs in sports like rugby, wrestling and boxing to name a few. Wearing a headgear to protect the face and mouth guards are the best ways to prevent a facial injury.

Head and Neck Injuries: Head and neck injuries are very common in sports. They can be very severe and fatal. Hitting the head and neck on hard surfaces such the ground may cause sprain to the neck and damage to the nervous system. It can also give rise to bleeding within the brain. Many head injuries impact the life of the athletes throughout their lives and affect their performance in sports and prevent them from leading normal lives. By wearing helmets and other headgears, these kinds of injuries can be prevented.


  1. Head injuries in sport - (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332409/)
  2. Nasal Surgery: Fixing Form and Function - (http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/facialSportsInjuries.cfm)
  3. Sprains and Strains - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sprainsandstrains.html)
  4. Sports Injuries - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sportsinjuries.html)

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